TV Things to Be Thankful For: Educating while Entertaining

Thanksgiving may be over, but the long, winding path of thankfulness continues on, making plenty of loops around Television.

It’s easy to forget that learning is fun, or, at least, that’s when learning is the most effective. We learn best when we are presented ideas in creative and exciting ways, thereby making them easy to retain. Take elementary school, for instance. What are the kinds of lessons we remember the most? Science projects using candy to make molecule diagrams; U.S History trivia contests with mystery prizes for the winner; field trips to interactive museums that doubled as playgrounds. The teachers we loved the best were ones who understood that there are times when education and entertainment can go hand in hand, and there are plenty of shows on TV that feel the same way. Continue reading

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Box Seat: Matilda

As a 20-something, I have a lot of conversations with my friends about growing up, being adults, and how much it sucks most of the time. Life gets complicated after college, and it promises to just keep getting more difficult. Looking to the future can sometimes be a bleak exercise, where the road ahead seems either completely unknowable, or much too predictable. Either way, it looks pretty hopeless. I have often felt that way, but I got a jolt of hope recently when I went to see Matilda, the Musical on Broadway. Continue reading

T.V Things to be Thankful for: Teams

It’s kind of amazing how TV has tons of teams for just about every genre and occasion imaginable. There are sci-fi crews traveling through space finding trouble or getting found by it, like in Star Trek or Firefly. Mystery shows like CSI and Sherlock have groups working together to solve the unsolvable. Shows like Justice League and Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes feature the bread and butter of comic books, superhero teams (which, I guess, is technically part of the sci-fi domain but have more than enough shows dedicated to it to warrant its own genre). If you’re in the mood for something more dysfunctional, there are always shows about rag-tag teams of misfits and/or ex-cons that somehow pull off capers and cons together for justice, like in The A-Team or Leverage. Shows like Avatar: The Last Airbender, Codename: Kids Next Door, and Power Rangers all feature the ever-popular “adolescents with attitude” teams, proving that even kids can work together to fight crime and stop bad guys, usually with the help of an animal sidekick or two. Continue reading

T.V Things to be Thankful for: Showing over Telling

Caveat: admittedly this is something you’d also see in film and other storytelling mediums, but I’m still gonna stick to TV when I talk about this (So I like the alliteration in my title. Sue me…but not really).

While it’s cliché of me to say that a picture is worth a thousand words, it doesn’t make the phrase any less true, and TV, as a visual medium, is capable of telling vibrant stories through imagery, showing audiences what’s happening rather than just telling. Telling is important, but it’s the showing that adds weight and credibility to a story. I can tell you that this character feels guilty or that there’s an epic battle happening between two armies, but it’s more believable when you see it happening for yourself. Continue reading

T.V Things to be Thankful for: Theme Songs

In Jordan’s last post (which you should really check out if you haven’t, especially since it was on his birthday), he wrote about things he wishes to see on TV. Of course, I have my own wish list for TV, as I’m sure you do too, but, in respect to the upcoming holiday, let’s never forget to take some time to be thankful instead of wishful. For my next few posts, I’ll be pointing out common traits among TV shows that I really appreciate and how they make watching TV more fun. To start on a high note, this post will be dedicated to theme songs. Think about one of your favorite theme songs, and let it play on repeat in the back of your head as you read on. Continue reading